NOTE: This post contains spoilers for Tales of the Walking Dead season 1 episode 1, "Joe/Evie."
The Tales of the Walking Dead series premiere featured prepper Joe (Terry Crews) and Evie (Olivia Munn) on a quest to find people they’d lost contact with, but their journey reveals they might have more in common than they ever guessed.
Each episode of Tales features new characters and locations, with the occasional peek at familiar faces. Despite the new characters and locations, there are still connections to the larger TWD Universe to be found. For instance, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen preppers in the TWD Universe, as the episode "Joe/Evie" reminds us of Fear the Walking Dead season 3.
Joe is a prepper who has everything he needs in the apocalypse. Just over one year in and the former football player is doing just fine in his bunker, but when his faithful canine companion Gilligan dies unexpectedly, Joe starts to succumb to the one thing a prepper can’t prepare for: loneliness.
He sets out to find someone he once connected with in a robust online community of preppers. On the way he runs into Evie, who is trying to find her boyfriend. Evie commandeers Joe’s motorcycle and forces him to take her where she needs to go. And just like that the oddest adventure in the history of the TWD Universe begins.
When Joe finally reaches his destination, however, he discovers that his online prepper friend, Sandra (Kersti Bryan), isn’t ok. Though they shared some intense conversations and seemed to be friends, Sandra is actually completely unhinged and drugs Joe and tries to kill him. It’s possible she’s always had murderous tendencies or perhaps she’s been pushed over the edge after being alone too long. Either way, the fact remains she’s more in keeping with the kind of preppers we’ve seen before.
Extreme preppers like Joe are nothing new to The Walking Dead Universe. We’ve seen our fair share of the like over the years across the different shows. Sadly, though, there have been more unhinged preppers like Sandra than peaceful variety like Joe or resourceful survivors like Evie.
Fear the Walking Dead season 3 featured an inside look at a prepper community in Southern California near the Mexican border. Broke Jaw Ranch was a community of preppers under Jeremiah Otto (Dayton Callie) and his sons Jake (Sam Underwood) and Troy (Daniel Sharman).
When Madison (Kim Dickens) and her family showed up at the ranch, she hoped it could be a refuge. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a nightmare when Jeremiah and some of his followers turned out to be a bunch of horrible people who had no problem killing anyone who didn’t look like them. His son Troy was a terror unto himself; like Sandra, he had no problem killing and did it often, often gleefully.
Jake and Madison’s daughter Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) formed a strong bond that started out as a strategic move that turned into something stronger. He told her about the various networks and communities of preppers located all over the country. While they’d lost contact with the other preppers after the world fell apart, it was technically possible to reach them. (Provided, of course, that they wanted to be reached)
It’s entirely possible that Joe and Sandra were included on Jake Otto’s map of preppers. There could be a whole prepper directory out there. If these preppers were worth their salt, they should still be thriving long into the apocalypse because that’s what they’d been prepping for. Pun intended.
Tales of the Walking Dead could be setting up the network of preppers that Jake Otto was talking about. We could meet these preppers and their communities in future episodes or they could be pit stops (i.e. supply caches) in future stories. Or we might take a trip back in time to see how Broke Jaw Ranch came to life or what life was like before Madison and her kids showed up. Joe and Evie (and their lamb friend, Skipper) could appear in future stories with other preppers Joe used to know.
With Tales, anything is possible, as we previously discussed in our Tale of the Walking Dead preview.
As the universe expands with The Walking Dead spinoffs, we’re starting to see how these worlds connect in an even bigger way. Tales of the Walking Dead is helping to connect the puzzle pieces to reveal an even larger picture of the post-apocalyptic landscape. And we’re here for it.
Tales of the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 pm ET/PT on AMC.
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Sarabeth joined the What to Watch team in May 2022. An avid TV and movie fan, her perennial favorites are The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, true crime documentaries on Netflix and anything from Passionflix. You’ve Got Mail, Ocean's Eleven and Signs are movies that she can watch all day long. She's also a huge baseball fan, and hockey is a new favorite.
When she's not working, Sarabeth hosts the My Nights Are Booked Podcast and a blog dedicated to books and interviews with authors and actors. She also published her first novel, Once Upon an Interview, in 2022.